Parent Meeting Notes - August 27, 2015

1. Producer Introductions

Miriam Watson – has produced several Theater in the Mountains (TIM) Productions and has a background in theater. She is also the head of the TIM Steering Committee.

Kate Dwyer - has produces several Theater in the Mountains Productions and will be in charge of communications with parents. She’s the person to go to first with questions.

Maren Elliott – is new to producing and theater but excited to work with a great community of parents.

Laurie Hupman – is a recent hire by Theater in the Mountains to work as a Production Manager and give TIM a consistent and skilled presence in its productions. She has a lot of professional theater experience.

2. Artistic Staff Introduction

  • Arindam Das is both our Artistic Director and Vocal Director. Arindam brings a wealth of theater experience and most recently collaborated with TIM as conductor of TIM's Spamelot. Arindam LOVES kids! He has served as Musical Director for Little People Rep Theatre for 17 years. He also serves as director and musical director for various local theaters. A singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he has played many roles onstage starting at the age of four including El Gallo in "The Fantasticks" and Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof."

1. Arindam shared his values of humility, tolerance and respect and his two rules of theater. First is safety – both physical and emotional. It’s important to create a safe space where our actors can have the freedom to dig deep and try on different characters. It needs to be a safe space where children don’t feel self-conscious. His second rule is to have fun! We all need to be having fun and have an opportunity to shine and not be uptight. He believes strongly in the power of the ensemble and the power and energy of every cast member participating.

2. He was originally skeptical in hearing about the Broadway show based on a Disney animated movie, but when he saw it he was captivated. The Lion King is about ancestors being there to watch over us. There is also an commentary about Scar being a fascist dictator. The Lion King is also about the Circle of Life and the philosophy of Hakuna Matata.

3. Audition Process: in order to foster that sense of creating a safe space, Arindam has found it useful to create an audition process where everyone performs the same song. In this case it will be the Circle of Life. They cast will learn the song together and then those that want a lead part with solo vocals will be invited to come up and sing the same song in front of the group. The rest of the case will be a supportive and encouraging audience. If the children are nervous, they are invited to bring a friend up with them and audition with one or more friends. However, those that will be considered for lead roles must perform and sing on their own.

4. Arindam Das will be responsible for all casting decisions. BenJammin Holck and Laurie Hupman will also be a part of casting decisions.

  • There are no small parts, only small actors.
  • Everyone’s contribution is important and valued.
  • The other producers are not involved in the casting decisions.
  • If your child is upset with his or her role as an ensemble member, tell them that this play relies heavily on the ensemble – there are 9 musical numbers where the whole ensemble will be involved. In fact, many of the ensemble members may be on stage more than some of the leads.

5. Rehearsal Schedule: The schedule is extremely tight. If your child misses rehearsal, it may affect his/her ability to be in a particular number as there are no other opportunities to learn the number in the schedule. TIM will be sending out an additional e-mail requesting us to list any scheduling conflicts your child has. This is absolutely essential information to have before casting. Please be honest and thorough in providing this information.

6. Parents are encouraged to have your children listen and singing to the CD, which was handed out tonight. Also, after casting, practice lines with your children.

  • Ben,Jammin Holck is our dynamic The Lion King choreographer. He is a founding member of non-profit, Santa Cruz Performing Arts. An educator, choreographer, vocal coach, and actor in the Santa Cruz and bay areas, Holck has over 20-years experience directing full-scale musicals and teaching live-performance classes as a SPECTRA Artist in county schools. Jammin is currently the Artistic Director for SCPA, providing classes, programs, and events where kids can develop skills in music, dance, and theatre.

3. Introduction of Lead Staff

  • Nilla Conti, Set Design
  • Chris Vaughan, Set Building
  • Mia Hammerschmidt, Costume Designer
  • Karen Salinger, Props Master
  • Rachel Moss, Hair and Make-up
  • Christina Schwabacher, Volunteer Coordinator

4. Rehearsals

  • Rehearsals will be Monday through Thursday after school in the Loma Forum. On Wednesdays it will be 1:45 to 5:00; other rehearsal days will be 3:00 to 6:00. Not all kids will be called to all rehearsals- rehearsal schedule will be published; kids should only attend rehearsal when they are called.
  • Children should bring a snack and water, please not sugary items. Food may be eaten in the amphitheater during breaks, but the school has asked that NO FOOD be eaten in the forum. Please label a separate snack for rehearsal.
  • Children should always have close toed shoes and should be dressed comfortably to move.
  • Children should bring homework or other quiet activities to keep them occupied while not practicing on stage.
  • The school has requested that parents come through the Loma office for pickup. Do not enter from the pods. Please wait in the lobby until the rehearsal is over.
  • If anyone other than you is to pick up your child from rehearsal, then that person needs to be listed as an alternate. Rehearsal coordinators cannot let anyone not on this list pick up your child.
  • If your child misses rehearsals beyond what was written on his/her conflict calendar, then it will be at the discretion of the director to modify the child's role as appropriate.
  • Parents are not invited to watch rehearsal but are invited to sign up as rehearsal supervisors. Rehearsal Supervisors will be coordinated by Sherry McNamara. Please look at your child’s rehearsal schedule after it is published to determine when you can supervise rehearsal. You will be committed to stay for the entire rehearsal even if your child does not have to stay. Please do not be on your phone or socializing with friends as a Rehearsal Supervisor. You will need to, keep kids on task, discipline children, encourage them to get their homework done, and similar tasks.
  • Rehearsal Supervision: Cell phone 408 353-9999 - to be used if you need to reach someone at rehearsal or make a last minute change in who is picking up your child.
  • The final week before the show is known as Tech Week. Expect your child to be up later than usual that week!

5) Communications— Kate Dwyer

  • Communications / website Check communications (email, website) frequently for important information. -
  • Kate will be sending out a few emails a week to parents. She will try to consolidate information to send out as few messages as possible. But they could be long and very important – please read them thoroughly.
  • Please be aware that TIM is not a school program. TIM rents the facility from the school. Do not ask the school secretary or janitorial staff questions about TIM issues. Questions from parents about facilities should come to Kate who will coordinate issues with the school through the TIM team.
  • Please register on the TIM web site as soon as possible but definitely by Sunday.
  • Be sure to include the names of individuals who are authorized to pick up your children.

6) Volunteer Help

  • Christina Schwabecher will be signing all parents up for volunteer jobs. We currently have openings to manage the Lobby and to be the lead with Microphones (preferably someone with technology skills).
  • Mandatory 30 adult volunteer hours per child in the play
  • Mandatory every family must have an adult help with either Move-in or Strike
  • Volunteer Opt-out fee=$650 (capped @ 5 families)